Police chased a stolen squad car through multiple south suburbs late Monday afternoon.
Around 4:15 p.m., Matteson police were called to the Greater Chicago Auto Auction, at 20401 Cox Ave., for reports that five people had cut a security fence at the auction lot with bolt cutters. They were trying to steal cars, police said.
Matteson police officers blocked the entrance and exit to the car lot to prevent escape, police said. The suspects were seen getting into a vehicle on the lot and driving around it at a high speed in hopes of getting away, police said.
The thieves drove at and almost struck security guards and police. They then crashed through closed garage doors at the auction atrium in an attempt to escape the lot – but instead ended up wrecking the car, police said.
At that point, the suspects bailed from the car and ran south through the lot, with officers chasing. They jumped the fence on the southeast side of the lot and ran into a subdivision, police said.
A Matteson police officer apprehended one suspect right away. Two more were found soon afterward hiding under a deck and were also arrested, police said.
A 15-year-old and two adults ages 20 and 25, all from Chicago, were in custody late Monday.
A fourth suspect was seen running south through the subdivision. A Matteson police K9 unit pulled up and started looking for the fourth suspect.
But while the officers were out of the police vehicle, the suspect got in and stole it, police said.
The suspect drove off in the Matteson police car on Northbound Interstate 57. Matteson police tracked the GPS on the squad car, which indicated that it had exited at 147th Street and became disabled at 147th and Dixie Highway in Harvey.
Specifically, the squad car blew a tire there.
Witnesses said the driver got out and ran off. Matteson police – with the assistance of the Cook County Sheriff’s and the Illinois State Police and multiple other police agencies – conducted a search, but could not find the squad car thief, police said.
The damaged squad car was towed back to the Matteson police station.
No police dog was in the squad car at the time.